5 Reasons Why Most Guitar Teachers Don't Get Tons Of Guitar Students Or Earn 6-Figures (& How YOU Can)

by Tom Hess
Do THIS And You'll Get A Lot More Guitar Students
This Will Get You A Lot More Guitar Students e-Guide

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Earning a high income (6-figures +) from guitar teaching is MUCH easier than you think.

But few guitar teachers ever get close to this level.


Most blame their low guitar teaching income on:

  • the state of their economy,

  • their musical skills (or qualifications),

  • the size of the city they live in, or

  • the amount of competition they have.

Do THIS And You'll Get A Lot More Guitar Students
This Will Get You A Lot More Guitar Students e-Guide

By submitting your info, you agree to send it to Tom Hess Music Corporation who will process and use it according to their privacy policy.

Fact is: 

... these external factors have little to do with your guitar teaching income. 

Your future as a guitar teacher is 100% in YOUR control to shape and define. 

You and you alone control your income from teaching guitar.

Here are 5 reasons why guitar teachers do not earn big money, and how you can learn from their mistakes and achieve financial freedom with your guitar teaching business:

How To Teach Guitar Effectively

Guitar Teacher Failure Reason #1: Being A “Me Too” Guitar Teacher

Most new guitar teachers have no idea how to teach guitar or how to build their guitar teaching business (due to never having guitar teacher training).

Their “education” about how to teach guitar consists of looking at what “other” guitar teachers do. What do you think happens when you learn how to teach guitar from other teachers who barely manage to earn $25,000 per year in their guitar teaching business?

That’s right…you follow the same ineffective, inefficient and frustrating methods that lead to inevitable failure. You become a “Me Too” guitar teacher - offering the same things, in the same ways, in the same format, at the same prices, with the same approach, with the same marketing, using the same ineffective guitar teaching business model and the same (predictably) embarrassing results.

To start earning big money in your guitar teaching business, STOP copying what other guitar teachers do. Instead, learn the most effective ways to teach guitar and set yourself apart from everyone else in ways that will make you successful.

Here are some examples of how to do this:

  • Market yourself to a specific style such as rock, metal, or blues instead of being a “general” guitar teacher.

    Question: “But Tom Hess, why can’t I teach more than one style like most guitar teachers do?”

    Answer:  When you teach guitar in more than one style, it becomes hard to stand out among other guitar teachers in your area who are also teaching many styles.

    The best guitar students (the ones who pay on time, who practice what you tell them an tend to take lessons for a long time) often seek a specialist guitar teacher – not a jack-of-all-trades type teacher.
  • Stop advertising “low cost” guitar lessons (or charging less than your competition) - offer the highest RESULTS for your guitar students and charge for it accordingly. Fact: your guitar students don't want “guitar lessons” - they want the result of becoming awesome guitar players.

    …STOP… go back and reread the last sentence 3 more times…and THINK about the MASSIVE untapped opportunity it presents for you to grow a successful guitar teaching business.

    When you specialize in delivering superior results (vs. being a “lower-cost alternative” of the same mediocre guitar teacher next door), it is a win-win situation for your guitar students AND for your bank account.
  • Work with a guitar teacher trainer to learn the best and most effective guitar teaching strategies that are proven to turn your guitar students into kickass guitarists fast. This action alone (taking initiative to actually “learn how to teach guitar” better than everyone else in your local area can even dream about doing) will give you a credential that other guitar teachers in your area will never have. This credential will help your guitar students progress faster, enable you charge more for you lessons (and get guitar students who are more than willing to pay it!) and will set you light years ahead of any “would-be” competitors around you.

    Note: I realize that this guitar teaching tip sounds incredibly self-serving, given that I have a training program for guitar teachers on how to make money teaching guitar. That said, the point I'm making holds true whether I had a program to offer you or not.

Guitar Teacher Failure Reason #2: Teaching Guitar Lessons To Non-Serious “Problem” Guitar Students

One of the most destructive myths you can believe as a guitar teacher is:

“You just have to accept and deal with having problem guitar students”

Problem guitar students are those who show up late (or not at all) for scheduled lessons, can’t seem to pay on time or complain about your rates, don’t practice what you teach them, try to tell YOU how to teach and are generally just a pain in the butt to deal with.  

Truth is, you should NOT be teaching these types of guitar students... and the most successful guitar teachers regularly refuse to do so. Why? Here are just a few reasons how such problem guitar students will forever cripple your guitar teaching business:

  • When you let guitar students walk all over you by arriving late, not showing up, paying late, etc., you put THEM in control of your time and your ability to earn more money teaching guitar. All the time you waste dealing with headaches caused by problem guitar students is time you can never invest into growing your guitar teaching business further or working with serious guitar students who desperately want and need your help with their guitar playing.
  • You’ll never be able to keep a full guitar teaching schedule. Problem guitar students rarely stick around for long, leaving you constantly scrambling to replace them just to break even.
  • These types of guitar students never make serious progress. As a result, they will leave after only a month or two and you will begin to develop a bad reputation in your town for being the guitar teacher who can’t get results.

Guitar Teacher Failure Reason #3: Not Actively Promoting Guitar Lessons During Slow Periods Throughout The Year

Many guitar teachers are aware that there are busy and slow seasons for guitar teaching. Most of them will promote their lessons heavily in the busy months (such as late August and September) while neglecting to promote themselves at all during the slow months (such as from June to early August).

Truth is, there are ALWAYS guitar students seeking lessons no matter what time of year it is, and the most successful guitar teaching businesses are continuously promoting their lessons all year round to attract them. To build your guitar teaching business so you can earn 6 figures per year, you must INCREASE your promotional efforts during the slower months and attract all of the guitar students that everyone else is missing out on (learn more about it in this article on how to keep your guitar students during the summer).

Guitar Teacher Failure Reason #4: Using Very Limited Guitar Teaching Formats That Kill Any Chance For Financial Growth

The goal of your guitar teaching business should NEVER be to simply “get more guitar students”. Your goal as a guitar teaching business owner is to continuously provide MORE value and more results to your guitar students (existing and future) while making significantly more money in the process.

“How does one do this?” Great question! The top 1% of guitar teachers (those who earn multiple 6-figures per year while guitar teaching part-time) use innovative guitar teaching models that allow them to add tons of value for their guitar students, while cutting in half the amount of hours they teach every week. Watch this guitar teaching business video to learn how easy this is to do.

Here is what the top guitar teachers absolutely NEVER do: they do NOT spend all their time guitar teaching doing 1-1 private lessons only (which is the format 99% of guitar teachers teach in). This is the absolute wrong format to be adding more value and producing more results for your guitar students.

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Question: “But Tom Hess, isn’t it true that 1-1 lessons give guitar students more attention from me – their guitar teacher? If so, doesn't that mean 1-1 lessons is a superior format for teaching guitar?”

Answer: 1-1 lessons DO give your students more attention from their guitar teacher. But the (false) assumption being made here is that this additional attention results in more progress for the guitar students. That is false.

Here is why:

After you teach your guitar students something, they haven’t yet mastered it. They need to spend time practicing it and integrating that concept with their other skills.

The best way to let your guitar students to master what you taught them is by giving them some time and space to work on their own, while you tend to other students (in a group class).

Then you come back to the first student, give them feedback and let them practice again on their own.

This process develops the self-reliance your students need to improve while they practice at home.

But students rarely develop this ability in 1-1 guitar lessons precisely because your attention is fully focused on them.

And on top of this...

Teaching guitar in group classes develops real-life guitar playing skills 1-1 lessons never develop.

For example: paying guitar in groups helps your guitar students get over stage fright, play in time and get used to jamming with other musicians. It’s much harder to develop these skills in private lessons.

Guitar Teacher Failure Reason #5: Not Knowing Who Or What Your REAL Competitors Are In Your Quest To Earn A Lot Of Money Teaching Guitar

When it comes to becoming the most successful, highest-earning guitar teacher in your area, who is the biggest competitor that stands in your way? If you answered: “the other guitar teachers in my local area”, or “online guitar teachers”, you are completely wrong. Fact is, YOU are your biggest competitor! Without fully realizing it, you are standing in your own way in more ways than you could imagine - by having weak lesson policies, weak pricing, a weak teaching model, a weak guitar teaching business model, weak marketing, weak (or NO) investing in yourself as both a guitar teacher and a guitar teaching business owner, and on and on...

Want proof? Take this assessment to test how prepared you are to grow a highly successful guitar teaching business and see for yourself.

Most guitar teachers do not even see themselves as “business owners”. They still think they are simply “guitar teachers”, because they are afraid to take their “business” seriously and COMMIT to earning a great living teaching guitar. This one fact all by itself is a major contributor to why most guitar teachers fail to make good money. The point is, all of this comes from your own IRRATIONAL fears, insecurities and self-doubt. Get out of your own way and invest in yourself, so that you once and for all overcome these unnecessary and crippling fears. Once you do, you'll finally begin to clearly see the path to a multiple 6-figure income as a guitar teacher while only working PART time AND producing massively BETTER results for your guitar students.

Free Assessment

Tom Hess
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains musicians how to leave their day jobs and build successful fulltime careers in the music industry.

Learn how to make 6-figures per year teaching guitar with training for guitar teachers.

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